109: Fertility Awareness Method and getting off birth control with Jess Suchan and Candace Burch

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Hi friends! I’m so excited for today’s podcast episode because it’s a topic that’s near and dear to my heart: Fertility Awareness Method!

I’ve been practicing FAM since the old days, when I first got off birth control in 2009. It changed my life. It was the first chance I had to understand my cycle and how it changes throughout the month and gave me key insights into my fertile and non-fertile days. It’s a non-hormonal form of birth control that can be very effective, especially if you’re diligent about tracking your symptoms throughout the month. It can also tell you if something is off, like if your cycle starts to change lengths drastically, or if you’re not ovulating.

In today’s podcast episode, I’m chatting with Jess Suchan and Candace Burch (an incredible mother-daughter duo! Candace’s daughter Ryan also works on the family business) all about birth control and Fertility Awareness Method.

109: Fertility Awareness Method and getting off birth control with Jess Suchan and Candace Burch

Here’s what we discuss:

– Why hormonal birth control can be problematic

– What is FAM and how does it work?

– Tracking apps and how to track throughout the month

– Hormone balancing tips

– and so.much.more.

It’s also worth mentioning here that birth control is a super personal topic and at the end of the day, you have to research and do what makes sense for your body and life. This podcast episode is not meant to convince anyone; we’re just sharing our experiences. You gotta do what works for you, boo. Also, friendly reminder that this is not medical advice and just intended for informational purposes.

You can also check out my previous podcast episode with Candace Burch here!

Here’s a little bit more about Candace and Jess and their backgrounds:

Jess Suchan is a board certified Holistic Health Coach who coaches her clients towards finding a life of bliss, free from fad diets, overexercising, and burnout. She believes that in order to change our habits we must address the “holistic picture” and compassionately investigate how all areas of our lives are interconnected.

Jess spent over a decade yo-yo dieting, exercising fo

Blackberry Cucumber Cocktail

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Sharing a recipe for a delicious and refreshing blackberry cucumber cocktail!

Hi hi! How’s the day going so far? I hope you’re having a great morning. I’m catching a yoga class and spending the rest of the day working on some stuff for Fit Team and the podcast.

For today’s post, I wanted to share a super delicious and EASY cocktail recipe. This one is courtesy of my brother Kyle, and we learned how to make this while we did his Cocktails in the Kitchen class at Miraval.

TBH, I haven’t experimented with cocktails too much. I feel like they can be intimidating, and while I can follow a recipe, I don’t tend to be very creative with cocktails. (Worth mentioning here that I do make a very lovely margarita, but that’s about where it ends.) He had our stations set up with fresh herbs, berries, tools, and gin, and before we knew it, we were cheers-ing each other with the freshest libation I’d had in a long time. I’m so pumped to share the recipe with you!

Blackberry Cucumber Cocktail






Simple syrup (equal parts honey and water)






Muddle all of the ingredients (minus the gin).

Next, add in the gin. Shake, strain, and garnish!

Kyle gave

Should I do strength or cardio first?

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Sharing some tips on whether you should do strength or cardio first in your workout routine. 

Hi friends! Hope you’re having a great morning and hope you enjoyed the long weekend! I’m already counting down the days until the next school break. Waking up early is not my cup of tea lol.

For today’s post, I wanted to talk about strength vs.cardio and which one you should do first in your routine. There are so many different types of exercise routines, and they offer different benefits for the body (and mind!). Doing an combination of strength and cardio can help you acheive your body composition and fitness goals, and knowing how to structure these in your routine can help you maximize the benefits. Deciding which one to do first depends on your fitness goals and other factors.

In today’s post, I’m sharing tips on how to decide which one to do first!

Should I do strength or cardio first?

A balanced fitness plan includes strength and cardio components, as well as mobility and rest. You also want to make sure that you’re alternating workout intensities throughout the week. For example, if you have a really hard cardio day, follow this with an easier day or rest. How much cardio and strength training you do in your weekly routine depends on your current fitness level, goals, unique factors (like age, health issues, injuries, medications, etc.). While I am a certified personal trainer and women’s fitness specialist, please remember that I’m not a doctor. Talk to your doctor before making any fitness changes and honor your body.

Also, remember that whenever you start something new in your routine, you will likely be sore, so DON’T push it too hard. This is why I usually have beginning training clients start with bodyweight-only or super light weights; they’re going to be sore no matter what.

Benefits Of Cardio After Weights

For body recomposition:

I typically recommend cardio after strength training if building muscle is the priority.  Typically women don’t understand that if you’re looking for a more “toned” look, you need to put on muscle. For this reason, we’ll emphasize strength training (progressive training and phased programming for optimal results), and sprinkle cardio in, but not too much.

For hormonal considerations:

Also, many of the women I work with are dealing with hormone imbalances, often from years of stress, under-eating, and overexercising. Workouts can be an extra stressor on the body, especially intense cardio. So, we’ll focus more on strength training and stick to daily walks until their energy levels return and inflammation is down.

Weights first helps to prepare the body for cardio

Doing strength first can help the body prepare for more explosive cardio movements, as you’re often working the joints through full range of motion and warming up the muscles. It can be helpful to mimic some of the upcoming cardio movements during your strength training routine.

Increased metabolism through higher muscle density:

Muscle tissue is “hungrier” than fat, which means it burns more calories at rest. When you’re focused on muscle-building, you may not s

Friday Faves

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Hi hi! Happy Friday! How was the week? Ours was a bit of a blur (the Pilot was flying nights), but I’m so pumped the weekend is here. I’m going to the Sebastian Yatra concert with some friends, we’re having friends over for dinner on Saturday, and then celebrating my dad’s bday on Sunday. I hope you have a fun and wonderful weekend ahead!

We’re into Self-Care September with Fit Team, and it’s been inspiring to to dive into some self-care and nurturing habits, especially since we’re about to head into the busy fall and holiday season. If you’d like to join us, enrollment is technically closed, but email me (gina@fitnessista.com) and I’ll get you a link!

It’s time for the weekly Friday Faves party! This is where I share some of my favorite finds from the week and around the web. I always love to hear about your faves, too, so please shout out something you’re loving in the comments section below.

Friday Faves

Read, watch, listen:

Adding so many books to my to-read list. 

Don’t forget to check out this week’s podcast episode with Laura Varney here.

Mindset shifts to stop worrying about what other people think.

Another study demonstrating the value of consistency.

Fitness + good eats:

30-minute bodyweight-only barre workout.

Lots of meal inspo in this post.

Pumpkin season is HERE and I’m making these asap.

Tips for running with a baby.

Fashion + beauty:

I keep thinking about canceling RTR Unlimited, but then we have a vacation or event, and I’m so glad I have it. I realized I haven’t shopped much for myself lately (besides a couple trips to lulu!) because I’ve been enjoying rotating through these 8 pieces each month.

Wore this skirt the other day:

(tank is here, shoes are here)

and this dress yesterday 🙂

(shoes are here)

Labor Day Sales!!

Labor Day weekend is here and there are so many great sales!

Here are some of my top picks:

The BEST Labor Day sale is t

108: Prenatal fitness + shifting fitness perspectives with Laura Varney

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Hi friends! So excited that the podcast is BACK 🙂 I anticipate summers being more low-key on the podcast front, but now that we’re back in a routine, I have interviews stacked up and so much content to share with you guys. Please subscribe to the show if you’d like to be notified of new episodes as they go live!

For today’s episode, I’m chatting with Laura Varney about prenatal fitness, birth experiences, and how fitness perspectives can shift over time.

108: Prenatal fitness + shifting fitness perspectives with Laura Varney

We talk about:

– Her background and how she started working in the fitness industry

– Prenatal fitness tips

– Her experience in the bikini competition world

– How fitness perspectives and messaging have changed over time

– Her tips for being Healthy in Real Life

and so much more.

Here’s a bit more about Laura and her background:

Laura’s mission is to create a more empathetic approach to wellness – especially for those entering motherhood. Laura is a National Academy of Sports Medicine certified personal trainer, nutrition coach, and registered yoga teacher in Los Angeles. Her vigorous resume includes the specialization of strength and functional training, pre/postnatal training, HIIT (high-intensity interval training), and power vinyasa yoga.

She is the founder of The Baby Body: a 35-week prenatal exercise designed to keep women strong throughout all stages of pregnancy, during labor, and while being a parent. Laura’s passion for seeking an “unrestricted” life has catapulted her into the pursuit of empowering, supporting, and inspiring the women around her.

You can check out her website here and her Instagram accounts here and here.

Resources from this episode:

If you’re listening to this episode when it first launches, it’s Labor Day Sale sitewide at HigherDOSE, the makers of my favorite portable sauna blanket. Use this link and the code LDW22 for 20% sitewide! If you’re catching up on this episode later, you can use FITNESSISTA15 for 15% off! I LOVE the sauna blanket, PEMF Go Mat and red light face mask.

I love love love the meals from Sakara LifeUse this link and the code XOG